It all started off so promisingly...
Gail was keen to investigate a new footpath she'd only just found out about. It goes through Kinloch Woodlands, a 3600 acre area of hill ground to the south of Shieldaig (half an hours drive from the Torridon cottage). The land is managed by a local charitable trust and a project aiming to regenerate native forest is underway.
Here's a map. The plan was to follow the path to Loch Dughaill, indicated by the red dashed line.
|Please note - the map is 'upside down' with south at the top|
A round trip of not much more than two miles. Easy peasy, right?
Except that before long the nice dry and well made track gave way to an indistinct path across rough and boggy ground...
Did I mention it's been raining a lot round here lately?
No photos were taken of the second half of the route, as we stumbled through the mire, teetered on slimy rocks to cross a rain-swollen torrent and at one point Gail had to carry me after my courage failed when faced with a stretch of hummocky marsh where you had to jump between tussocks of grass to avoid slipping awkwardly into the fetid mud. (The photo below, taken from the internet, is a good illustration of these conditions.)
Shortly after we reached solid ground again Gail put me down but soon we turned back, with the final descent to the Loch looking far from straightforward and Gail by now unwilling to tackle any further obstacles. To be honest, I wasn't sorry.
But can you believe that when a spectacular rainbow appeared in the sky near the end of the hike, Gail rejected my offer of my customary 'foreground interest' services on the basis that I looked "too bedraggled" and thus would spoil her photo...
Too bedraggled. What do you think?